Nextel (and cell phone) Etiquette

Ok, this has been bugging me for some time now.

(Warning rant to follow)

I have been a cell phone user for about 9 years now and have been with various services. Before that I was an early adopter of paging technology. I have experienced first hand how technology permeates our lives and brings us more in touch with one another by making communication pathways more accessible. I enjoy my cell phone, as it helps me be so much more productive and expedites communication with family and clients. And recently I have to use a Nextel phone for a huge portion of my (paramedic supervisor) job.

However, as most of us are aware, Nextel technology brings others immediately into your personal space. The tell-tale BLEEP, BLING! of a Nextel, while being a very effective piece of auditory branding, sends chills thought my spine. Especially when it is followed by someone’s shrill voice (over the poorly designed speaker) intruding unwantingly on my un-expecting ears. This is one of the behaviors I would like to ask people to please change.

Even though the Nextel direct connect feature allows you to key a single button and begin talking… don’t. It is annoying and intrusive. And if (like me) you have turned off the speaker function you will not hear anyone’s voice and will miss the beginning of the conversation.

Now that were talking about the speaker function… Please stop using this in public. I can say with a fair bit of certainty that neither I nor anyone else within earshot has any interest in hearing what you and your buddies are going to be doing after work or while your at work. Also when you are talking to someone over a cell phone most people expect a bit of candor and having to ask someone if I am “private” before expressing myself gets a little annoying after the first time.

Also the amazing “Alert” feature. What kind of ridiculous nonsense is this? As if keying a button and yelling at me isn’t obnoxious enough, you can “alert” me and the damn phone won’t stop making noise until I mess with it. Personally I feel that the only time that you should “alert” someone should be for something very important, or if you are someone very important. By this I mean if what you have to tell me cannot wait even a couple of minutes, like, “your hair is on fire” or something like that. Or if you rank high enough in the corporate food chain that you just plain shouldn’t have to wait several minutes to say what you have to say.

In summary:

  • Dont just start talking after you first press the direct connect button.
  • Don’t use the speaker function in public.
  • Don’t alert someone unless it’s (or you are) very important.
  • And please remember show respect to the people that are present.

UPDATE: it seems that some people are even beginning to become less tolerant of other abnoxious behavior.